September 2016 Part 3/4: Backup Reverse Camera, Trailer Hitch.

The Return to Electronics

I was both excited and terrified to install a backup Camera as well as a trailer hitch.  Not because it was expected to be difficult, but because it would be a lot of messy anxiety inducing work.  If I were smart I would’ve taken care of this during the first round of electronics work, but I suppose I didn’t lack the backbone back then.  In short I undid almost all of the wire wrapping i did to accommodate/include the new wires.

Progress Pics

All this freakin wire gives me terrible anxiety.  I am absolutely terrified of electrical fire.  As far as I understand the best way to prevent this is to go overkill on the wire gauge.  I probably didn’t need to but I replaced the 20 foot runs of wires for the turn/brake/reverse signals all with 10 gauge wire.  I also added a 10 gauge wire for the auxillary power.  It added about 3 hours of work to this project, no I don’t know why it took that much time but it did.  All connections were spliced(via braid) and soldered together, then wrapped in electric tape and some times shrink wrapped.  I got myself some helping hands off amazon which were invaluable for soldering wires together.

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Wiring everything in the black section, there were wires EVERYWHERE!

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Once I got to this back section I was pretty happy, it meant I was just about done.  img_20160919_225418

The Reverse Camera Works!

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I actually think this was easier to install in a bus than it would’ve in a car.  Probably because I already stripped everything down and was familiar with all the wires.  A few things to note:  I got a 60 foot DC/AV cable for the camera because it was $15 and the 30 foot was $12 (give or take), this way if I tow a trailer I can pull the cable out and hook it up to a seperate camera on the trailer (these cameras start around $7 on amazon).  Unfortunately the 60 foot cable does give a little bit of noise(probably voltage drop), I just don’t care enough to deal with that issue right now.  If I were to, I would probably just cut the cable short and make an extension cable to go to the back trailer.

I used this reverse camera, it’s decent so far I wouldn’t mind reccomending it.  It has a second AV port which was pretty cool, I look forward to finding many uses for that (I’m thinking Dash camera, and maybe phone/gps displays).

The camera itself is fastened to the bus by an up side down steel bracket (approximately 18-20 gauge), I stuck a rubber grommet in the hole and silicone it shut.  The camera itself is average, I’ll probably replace it later (valued around $7-10).

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The instructions were really crappy so someone posted a diagram in the amazon reviews section, however the install instructions made it so the screen only worked when the reverse gear was engaged.  I changed the wiring slightly so the screen will always work regardless of the vehicle gear, I also wired the screen to the old reverse heater switch so I can turn it off manually easily.

 

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TRAILER HOOKUPS

I used the Hopkins 46365 Short Proof Power Converter to make a 4 prong trailer adapter from the bus.

as well as the Hopkins 47185 Multi Tow Adapter which I connected to the above mentioned adapter+ a few extra wires:  Reverse, aux power, and external brake (I just used brake light I don’t know if that’s correct) if I recall correctly.

These two made it very easy to hookup.  I probably could’ve done without the 46365, but maybe next time.  I’m still a novice.

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heh…yeah it’s crooked :p.

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